‘Cork Person of the Year’ awards – now in their 25th year

30 November 2017
By Elaine Murphy

The Cork Person of the Month award scheme which leads to the Cork Person of the Year selection will mark its 25th anniversary in January.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and the City Council elected members will host a civic reception at City Hall to mark the success of the awards scheme in promoting Cork and Cork’s local heroes. The awards scheme was first launched at City Hall in Jan 1993.

RTE is also acknowledging the importance of these awards, by having ‘Prime Time’ presenters, Miriam O’Callaghan and David Mc Cullagh act as MCs at the Gala Awards Lunch on Jan 19 at the Rochestown Park Hotel. The City and County Mayors will present the award to the winning Person or Persons of the Year on the day. Many local and national personalities will attend the gala lunch including Dee Forbes, Director General of RTE, Tom Crosbie of the Irish Examiner. Soprano Cara O’Sullivan will provide entertainment.

Top sponsor, the Irish Examiner, will publish a special supplement in the Examiner and Evening Echo in early January highlighting the rich history and achievements of this award scheme.

Awards Organiser Manus O’Callaghan

Awards Founder and Organiser, Manus O’Callaghan said: “ The awards were founded to celebrate Cork’s greatest asset, its people. The 300 plus males and females who have received awards to date have inspired others both locally and nationally and have very much also positioned Cork as a great place to live, work and play. So hopefully we have achieved the original objectives of this award scheme, which was to promote Cork City and Cork County and primarily Cork people.

Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald said the award scheme was unique in Ireland as it covered all sectors, including community, charities, sports, business, arts, family or indeed anyone from any activity.

“ Over the years, they have also given Honorary Cork person awards to people who have promoted Cork abroad, like Jeremy Irons, David Puttnam and Michael Flatley. Money could not buy the word-of-mouth promotion these people give to Cork during TV chat show interviews and it certainly helped Cork’s tourism industry.” added the Lord Mayor.

The Lord Mayor also thanked the City and County Chief Executives Ann Doherty and Tim Lucey for acting as judges for the awards over the years.

Manus O’Callaghan said many people don’t realise the important role award schemes play, as by honouring achievement and celebrating success, others may be inspired to follow.

‘’The writer Alex Haley, he of Roots fame, lived his life by these six words – find the good and praise it. I had that in mind back in 1993 when we established our awards. Ireland in my youth was a more ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ place. A more ‘don’t give someone a swelled head’ type of country by giving someone a bit of praise, and, of course, nowadays we all know the importance of encouragement. Unfortunately, Ireland has still some of that, as we are still one of the few countries that does not have a Government backed national honours system. We depend on other countries, like England, France and the US to honour our national honours. I am delighted when other countries do, but we should have our own State Honours System too.”

Sponsors of the Cork Person of the Year awards are the Irish Examiner, RTE, Southern, Lexus Cork, AM O’Sullivan PR, Cork Crystal, Tony O’Connell Photography and Musgrave Market Place.

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